I'm cutting my teeth at putting together a Linux install for a PC104 board that supports <= kernel 2.6.x with a Disk-On-Chip. I've read up on Embedded.org and Yocto, but before I try compiling totally from source I'd like to try and use an available distro.

Ubuntu 8.04 boots just fine from usb but I need sys/acl and zlib.h packages to build the mtd-tools binary that will allow me to mount the Disk-On-Chip. The universe/multiverse repos for hardy are now totally dead.

Is there another distro the uses a 2.6.x kernel suitable for this task? Preferably one who's repos are not set to expire in the near future. Are all of the repos for Debian Etch still up? I'm open to a CentOS based solution as well.

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    Sure, Debian archives old releases. archive.debian.org/debian/README Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 21:15
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    Are you sure you can't just use a 3.x kernel? There's no major difference between 2.6.x and 3.x; Linus just changed the way releases were numbered.
    – cjm
    Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 23:59
  • the manufacturer claims only <= 2.6.2x will work. I tried 10.04 which I beleive is also 2.6.3x but that would not boot past initramfs and busybox. Perhaps that's a driver issue. Commented Mar 16, 2014 at 23:04

1 Answer 1


You have not said what architecture the processor is, but the fact that you believe a current binary distro will work implies ARM or x86.

If that is the case, you can build just the kernel from vanilla source and use it with any distro you like. You are not restricted to using their kernel packages. I do not think there will be too many problems since 2.6 is not so dissimilar to 3.x.

I'm open to a CentOS based solution as well.

CentOS does indeed still use 2.6, as most likely does its cousin, Scientific Linux.

  • pc104 is always 32bit x86 Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 22:20
  • Ah. Wikipedia just refers to the bus and the form factor. Does the bus dictate the processor? Anyway, I'm fairly sure you can get away w/ using 2.6 on any current distro if you build it yourself. Building a kernel is pretty straight forward, and if it doesn't work out w/ distro X, you can always take that party elsewhere.
    – goldilocks
    Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 23:06

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